Labour leaders demand reopening of Ashulia factories
Labour leaders yesterday demanded that all 300 garment factories in Ashulia be reopened soon.
The factories were declared closed by owners following labour unrest on Saturday.
Some leaders expressed concerns over the sudden shutdown of the factories because of 'unilateral decisions' taken by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
They urged the government to immediately resolve the ongoing issues by holding a tripartite meeting with representatives of factory owners, workers and government officials.
“Garment workers cannot lead a normal life due to the price hike of essentials, rising transportation costs and soaring inflation,” said Wazedul Islam, coordinator of Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad.
So the workers are demanding a wage hike, he said in a statement. “It is a logical and justified demand.”
The worker leaders said the unrest took place as workers in the RMG sector do not have access to trade union.
In the absence of unionism, workers cannot express their frustration or anger in case of a sudden closure of their factories, exploitation and outstanding wages, they said.
This compels the workers to protest on the streets to press home their demands, they added.
If the government relaxes the ban on trade union activities in the RMG sector, labour unrest would ease to a certain extent, said many workers.
Garment Shromik and Shilpa Rakha Jatiya Mancho, another platform of workers, urged the government to resolve the ongoing labour unrest with a tri-party meeting.
They demanded all closed factories be reopened by June 20 or the federation would hold a grand rally in Dhaka on June 22 and announce tougher programmes, like strikes.
The unilateral decision taken by the factory owners to keep their factories shut will deepen labour unrest, said Shafiqul Islam, coordinator of the platform, in a statement.
He urged the government to introduce a rationing system for the workers and to contain house rent rates.
Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association also expressed concerns at the closure of the factories.
They urged the government to take immediate action to resolve the issues.
“It will severely hurt the development of women in country if the problem is not solved,” the association said in a statement.